NATO called on South Korea to increase military support for Ukraine, citing countries that have changed their policy not to supply weapons to conflicting countries.
Speaking at the Chey Institute for Advanced Study in Seoul today, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked South Korea for providing non-lethal aid items to Ukraine, but called on the country to do more. time said Ukraine had an “urgent need” for ammunition.
South Korea has signed a contract to sell hundreds of tanks, fighters and other weapons to NATO member Poland since Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine. However, South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol said that because the country’s policy prohibits the supply of weapons to countries in conflict, it is difficult to provide aid to Ukraine.
Since the conflict in Ukraine broke out, South Korea has sought to avoid confrontation with Russia, both for economic reasons and for Moscow’s ability to influence North Korea. The country has provided humanitarian aid of tens of millions of dollars and 20 types of non-lethal military equipment, including bulletproof helmets and medical equipment, to Ukraine.
However, Mr. Stoltenberg noted that countries such as Germany, Sweden and Norway used to apply similar policies to South Korea, but have since changed. According to him, countries need to provide weapons to Ukraine if they “don’t want Russia to win”.
Seoul is the first stop on the NATO Secretary-General’s trip to South Korea and Japan to strengthen ties with allies ahead of the war in Ukraine and increased competition with China.
President Yoon’s administration has recently sought to deepen ties with the transatlantic alliance, as demonstrated by the establishment of a diplomatic mission to NATO in November and Mr. Yoon’s attendance at the June NATO summit. last year.
In a statement released by state media today, North Korea called Stoltenberg’s visit to South Korea “a precondition for confrontation and war because it brings the dark cloud of the ‘new Cold War’ to the Asian region.” Asia-Pacific”.
Huyen Le (Theo Reuters, Yonhap)